Nevada Legislature: PERS reduction on way to Gov. Brian Sandoval | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Legislature: PERS reduction on way to Gov. Brian Sandoval

The bill reducing annual credits Nevada public employees accrue toward retirement is on its way to the governor.

Effective for those public workers hired on or after July 1, 2015, that annual credit would be 2.25 percent of pay per year instead of 2.5 percent.

Police/fire members would, however, remain at 2.5 percent credit for each year of service.

“This bill is conservatively estimated to save PERS about a billion dollars every decade,” Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, said during the senate debate on Senate Bill 406.

The bill also requires PERS members other than police-fire employees be at least 65 before retiring if they have five years service, 62 if 10 years and 55 with 30 years of service.

Those with at least 33 1/3 years of work credit could retire at any age without reduction of benefits.

The maximum benefit available to any PERS retiree is 75 percent of the average of their highest three years base pay.

The bill also provides benefits to surviving spouses of those killed in the line of duty of either half the deceased worker’s salary or 100 percent of their retirement payment, whichever is greater. It includes domestic partners as well as husbands and wives as eligible for those benefits.

For the first time, the bill mandates members of the judiciary pay half their contribution rate to their retirement plan.

But the bill dumps people out of PERS if they are convicted of a felony involving their employment including giving or accepting a bribe, embezzlement, extortion or theft of public money or perjury.

Those felons would get back all contributions they made to PERS over the years but without interest.

The final action on the bill was the Senate’s decision to accept Assembly amendments to the measure.

At the same time, the Assembly got hung up on the plan to eliminate longevity pay for veteran state workers. They haven’t received that pay for several years but Gov. Brian Sandoval proposed just eliminating it. Assembly Bill 436 initially passed 24-18 but Minority Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, moved for reconsideration, then put the measure on the desk for a possible amendment.